Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Minister for Public Expenditure to intervene and ensure that cancer patients are not denied medical cards or access to the care and treatment they require.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“In Budget 2013 the government signalled that a further €750 million would be cut from health spending this year, and that medical card entitlements would be targeted.
“Like many other TD’s, my constituency office has been inundated by citizens who are bearing the brunt of these cuts.
“Access to medical card entitlements has been reduced, in many cases from households in mortgage distress or who are desperately trying to make ends meet as a result extra taxes the government has introduced.
“It is especially reprehensible that cancer patients are to be denied medical cards. Preventing seriously ill people from getting the care and treatment they are entitled to is simply shocking.
“The Minister for Public Expenditure must intervene to ensure patients with cancer are not denied medical cards because of your cuts agenda?
“The reality is that these cuts to medical card entitlements are sneaky mean spirited cuts and have nothing to do with reform of the health care services.
“Fine Gael and Labour’s record in office has been marked by making health care unaffordable and inaccessible for the sick, the elderly and the vulnerable.
“Changes in medical card entitlements in effect mean it is nearly impossible to get a discretionary medical card on medical grounds and the buck for this stops squarely with Fine Gael and Labour’s cuts agenda.”